Pune housing scheme: Court rejects pre-arrest bail to builder

A local court on Wednesday rejected anticipatory bail application filed by Maple Group chairman Sachin Agarwal and other executives who were booked on the charge of cheating by publishing 'misleading' advertisements in newspapers promising flats to buyers at cheaper rates.

Additional Sessions Judge S B Kachare rejected the plea filed yesterday by Agarwal, Managing Director Naveen Agrawal and Sales Manager Priyanka Agrawal after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) opposed it.

"We had opposed the bail application in the court and now the court has rejected the bail," said police inspector Rajendra Mulik of Economic Offence Wing. He said the police are trying to trace the whereabouts of all suspects.

The CMD and other officials of the builder firm did not turn up before police despite notices served on them after registration of the offence.

Maple Group had recently published advertisements promising a 1-BHK flat for only Rs 5 lakh on the outskirts of the city.

The advertisement carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, apparently to 'mislead' people into believing that the project, titled Maharashtra Housing Day, was a part of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY).

The firm started returning money to depositors after a case was registered against them following an uproar. Police had said that around 32,000 people had booked a flat in the low-cost housing project.

Maple Group had already expressed 'regret' over the 'confusion' caused by the advertisement.

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